Japan September retail sales climb on higher Food, Fuel Prices

  • Retail Sales +2.1% Y/y vs MNI Forecast +1.7%
  • Sep Retail Sales Seen 11th Straight Y/y Increase
  • METI View: Retail Sales ‘Picking Up Gradually’

Japan’s retail sales in September posted the 11th straight year-on-year rise on high costs for food and energy, according to the preliminary data released Monday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Here are the key points from today’s data release:

* Retail sales rose 2.1 % on year in September, higher than the +1.7 % median of a forecast of 12 economists conducted by MNI. The pace of gain slowed from +2.7 % in August.

* METI upgraded its assessment in a statement, saying that retail sales “are picking up gradually.” Previously, the government had said that retail sales were “flat.”

* Data released last week by the Japan Department Stores Association showed sales by department stores fell 3.0 % on year in September for the third straight month of drop, following a decline of 0.2 % in August, as typhoons and a major earthquake during the month affected normal commercial activities.

* There were two more holidays last month than September 2017. The disasters shut some department stores and dampened consumer spending, the industry body said.